USMNT: Hold My Beer

Jimy Hendrix

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It’s too easy to rag on the manager, but this midfield looked like a problem as soon as the lineup came out and he failed to yank the two clearly worst performers of it in with five entire subs. I’m pretty pissed at him right now.
 

tmracht

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It’s too easy to rag on the manager, but this midfield looked like a problem as soon as the lineup came out and he failed to yank the two clearly worst performers of it in with five entire subs. I’m pretty pissed at him right now.
It's tough when center forward, midfield and full backs are all struggling. But he kinda set that up himself so...
 

4 6 3 DP

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Yeah feels like he punted the game with this lineup. Not sure even with 3 in 7 days that is a reasonable move.
 

Titans Bastard

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I’m gonna just go ahead and light my DVR on fire instead of watching this match.
I only saw the last half hour but if the first hour was the same (and apparently it was), it was more the sort of dispiriting game that makes you want to log off and think about something else more than being mad online about it.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I only saw the last half hour but if the first hour was the same (and apparently it was), it was more the sort of dispiriting game that makes you want to log off and think about something else more than being mad online about it.
The performance was in and of itself dispiriting in that way, but the fact that it all hinged on a dysfunctional midfield whose two worst performers both got 90min in a game with 5 subs is making me friggin’ furious online.
 

67YAZ

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This is where Earnie Stewart needs to earn his money. Berhalter needs more tactical nous from his staff - and then actually employ that advice.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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After the Jamaica game, Berhalter came out and said

The trap is going to be us thinking we’re great and us thinking we’ve qualified for the World Cup. And if we do that we’ll get our asses kicked in Panama on Sunday.
Then he came in and rotated 7 guys for our toughest game of the window because he thought we're great and we qualified for the World Cup. Two were forced rotations, but taking out our scorching hot striker and the most dynamic recent playmaker on the team were not. The lineup implied not much effort would be needed to win this game and then played down to that expectation.

Then we got our asses kicked.

Dude said "there's a rake 3 feet in front of me that I shouldn't step on", then stepped right on it and got his face smashed.
 

OCST

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I didn't see it, but after reading comments here and elsewhere I think it's maybe not a bad thing that we turned in this crap effort and got a crap result. Let Berhalter and everyone else be on notice that there's work to do. They've been a little fortunate so far.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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While Berhalter and the team have had some great moments especially over the summer, it is performances like this (as well as those before the summer) that give the overall impression that we are going to waste a cycle of a phenomenal group of young players on a lightweight manager.
 

trekfan55

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I know you guys must hate me right now (not me personally I hope). I know (and we all know) that USA is a better team but getting that game to go our way is epic. I could not catch it because I need to attend daily services (and say Kadish for my late father). My nephew was at the game, full stadium, electric atmosphere, it was all there (we are one of the few countries in the area that allow big crowds because of our vaccination rates and they did require a QR code showing full vaccination).
 

rguilmar

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I know you guys must hate me right now (not me personally I hope). I know (and we all know) that USA is a better team but getting that game to go our way is epic. I could not catch it because I need to attend daily services (and say Kadish for my late father). My nephew was at the game, full stadium, electric atmosphere, it was all there (we are one of the few countries in the area that allow big crowds because of our vaccination rates and they did require a QR code showing full vaccination).
I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I doubt anyone here hates you. Congrats, Panama won the game and deserved the result. It wasn’t a game that the US dominated and Panama got a lucky goal. It was a game Panama controlled. The US didn’t even have a shot on goal I think. It was a fair result, so congrats again.
Speaking for myself, my anger is directed elsewhere.
 

SoxFanInCali

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California. Duh.
Yeah, nobody here really hates Panama, and most of us remember the crushing late loss the US hung on you guys a couple WC cycles ago. Given the fact that it saved Mexico, and they didn't return the favor 4 years later, I'm actually sorry the US won that game
 

coremiller

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I know you guys must hate me right now (not me personally I hope). I know (and we all know) that USA is a better team but getting that game to go our way is epic. I could not catch it because I need to attend daily services (and say Kadish for my late father). My nephew was at the game, full stadium, electric atmosphere, it was all there (we are one of the few countries in the area that allow big crowds because of our vaccination rates and they did require a QR code showing full vaccination).
I was wondering if you'd show up in this thread. All credit to Panama, they played well and totally shut down any US attack. I don't think anyone here has hard feelings towards Panama supporters.

And may your father's memory be for a blessing.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Yeah, nobody here really hates Panama, and most of us remember the crushing late loss the US hung on you guys a couple WC cycles ago. Given the fact that it saved Mexico, and they didn't return the favor 4 years later, I'm actually sorry the US won that game
Yep. They owed us one.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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Possibly lost in the central midfield vacillating between suck and blow, Zimmerman had a pretty poor game I thought. A lot of apparently aimless long balls that were nowhere near connecting with anyone. I'd struggle to identify anyone who played well. Turner, I guess. Adams and Aaronson were clear improvements when they came on.

I get semi-punting on this game; it's a nice-to-have, but the home matches are the critical ones in the window.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Possibly lost in the central midfield vacillating between suck and blow, Zimmerman had a pretty poor game I thought. A lot of apparently aimless long balls that were nowhere near connecting with anyone. I'd struggle to identify anyone who played well. Turner, I guess. Adams and Aaronson were clear improvements when they came on.

I get semi-punting on this game; it's a nice-to-have, but the home matches are the critical ones in the window.
Zimmerman to me gets the same half pass Arriola does, in that he gave exactly the performance you’d expect from him if he’s in there. Solid defensively, aerially dominant, not helping much in the buildup. His long balls stick out more than say in the Jamaica game because any time he did pass to the midfield, they either turned it over or timidly passed it back to the defense.
 

Mr. Wednesday

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It’s hard to have long balls that aren’t aimless when the guys in front of you don’t know what they’re doing.
Whatever else you might say about Arriola and Zardes, they certainly do know how to make off-the-ball runs. And the conventional wisdom seems to be that Weah is a rich man's Arriola, so we should expect him to be able to do it as well. I don't think that's any excuse for Zimmerman.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I only watched the first half, but man was that dreadful soccer. The midfield was brutal and even with rotation, I'm not sure why he kept Lletget and Acosta on for the full 90 considering how bad they looked.

I thought these quotes from Zimmerman in The Athletic were enlightening as well. Article link: https://theathletic.com/2881631/2021/10/11/heavy-rotation-fails-to-energize-usmnt-in-a-listless-loss-at-panama/

The starting midfield of Acosta, Lletget and Yunus Musah was poor from the outset. Panama’s attackers marked Acosta tightly when the U.S. was in possession, forcing the Americans to build through Zimmerman and McKenzie, his center back partner. Musah and Lletget didn’t do a good job of making themselves available, Bello was shaky when he got the ball on the left and Moore was too often overlooked on the right. Zimmerman didn’t have a ton of options near him; he spent much of the first half launching a series of relatively hopeless diagonal balls to Zardes and Weah on the left wing. On the occasions when he or McKenzie were able to play into the midfield, Acosta, Lletget and Musah struggled to progress the ball further.

“I think it was something where we probably could’ve been a little bit more calm when we had the ball,” Zimmerman said. “Part of what we wanted to do was get on the ball and drive into that space and try and commit the (Panama) winger to either go to the outside back and, in that case, I can find the pocket there with the No. 8, or if he sticks on the 8, then I can bypass him to the fullback and we can try and start a wing progression.

“There were a few times where (the winger) stayed narrow and I was able to bypass him to Shaq and we tried to go down the line. And then fewer times did the middle open up. Wasn’t able to really find the middle. And, when that was the case, we were trying to find a weak-side winger for a diagonal. And it just felt like one of those days where we couldn’t really get into the rhythm of breaking them down consistently. That’s something that we need to take more pride in. Whether that’s our movement off the ball, our composure on the ball, we need to have the confidence to play. And that’s something that we were not at our best tonight.”
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Looks like we’re going with Steffen in goal tonight.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/cboehm/status/1448317402496868353


Update: Hearing that we'll see rotation at the USMNT goalkeeper position tonight. I'm expecting Zack Steffen to step in for Matt Turner on his return to Columbus. Steffen's been the No. 1 for most of Berhalter's tenure, but the timing may raise some eyebrows nonetheless.
I can understand why, Turner’s distribution was bad in the Panama game complete with some howlers that directly sprung dangerous attacks.

It still seems dangerous to take out your top shot stopper and bring in a keeper without much recent game time. Hope it doesn’t bite us in the ass.
 

rguilmar

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I'm hopeful that this is one of those changes that doesn't matter in the end. I can see the argument for starting either Steffen or Turner. I am resigned to Gregg tinkering and overthinking everything, and now I am just hoping that he avoids player combinations that can be disastrous. That Panama game was among the worst games I've seen from a manager from player selection to subs to tactics. I hope he learned something from the experience though.

I do expect the US to win this one simply because we should be less impacted by the tight schedule, and my hope is that the USMNT can build a 2 goal lead so that some of the younger guys can get some run in. That's a lot of "hoping" though.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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I am resigned to Gregg tinkering and overthinking everything, and now I am just hoping that he avoids player combinations that can be disastrous.
I think the Honduras game might have actually been a worse combination of gameplan and player selection for the first half, we were just lucky enough to turn that one around.

The WCQ record so far of Gregg overthinking himself into a cul-de-sac at least once per 3-game window worries me with regards to a World Cup group stage, should we get that far.